Query the LessWrong Hivemind

by D_Malik1 min read8th Nov 201190 comments


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Often, there are questions you want to know the answers to. You want other people's opinions, because knowing the answer isn't worth the time you'd have to spend to find it, or you're unsure whether your answer is right.

LW seems like a good place to ask these questions because the people here are pretty rational. So, in this thread: You post a top-level comment with some question. Other people reply to your comment with their answers. You upvote answers that you agree with and questions whose answers you'd like to know.


A few (mostly obvious) guidelines:

For questions:

  • Your question should probably be in one of the following forms:
    • Asking for the probability some proposition is true.
    • Asking for a confidence interval.
  • Be specific. Don't ask when the singularity will happen unless you define 'singularity' to reasonable precision.
  • If you have several questions, post each separately, unless they're strongly related.

For answers:

  • Give what the question asks for, be it a probability or a confidence interval or something else. Try to give numbers.
  • Give some indication of how good your map is, i.e why is your answer that? If you want, give links.
  • If you think you know the answer to your own question, you can post it.
  • If you want to, give more information. For instance, if someone asks whether it's a good idea to brush their teeth, you can include info about flossing.
  • If you've researched something well but don't feel like typing up a long justification of your opinions, that's fine. Rather give your opinion without detailed arguments than give nothing at all. You can always flesh your answer out later, or never.


This thread is primarily for getting the hivemind's opinions on things, not for debating probabilities of propositions. Debating is also okay, though, especially since it will help question-posters to make up their minds.

Don't be too squeamish about breaking the question-answer format.

This is a followup to my comment in the open thread.

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